Complicated Christmas

“Simplicity is the essence of happiness,” said the wrapper on the bar of soap that I used this morning to shower. After absorbing this trenchant quote, I considered the statement made by a protester on the news last night that if their don was not released from prison, their children would not have a merry Christmas and neither would the Spanish Town police. I grieved.

christmas2 300x225 Complicated Christmas

Simple or Complicated

Christmas is a big deal to Jamaicans. Indulgence in fruit cake and sorrel, the merriment of grand market1 and parties, acts of good will like treats for children and the elderly, pepper lights and re-decorated homes are the standards of Christmas in Jamaica. Some communities still retain traditions like Jonkunnu and Buru2.

In recent years, however, we have been forced to cut down on our celebrations; the Christmas bonuses have significantly reduced or disappeared completely, government agencies can no longer host Christmas functions for staff and several businesses, such as JN Money Shop, will close at the end of the year because ‘nutten nah gwaan’. The global financial crisis has left many Jamaicans either unemployed or anticipating unemployment.

When elements of our life are displaced and our routines altered, we often take this for complication. It is true in some cases that changes make life more difficult but most changes provide an avenue for us to simplify our existence.  The world will not end merely because we have to limit holiday spending – money is a necessary tool for most of us to function; it makes the world go ‘round but it also tends to complicate things. Having less money forces us to identify what is important, and get rid of what isn’t – that is the foundation of simplicity, which is the essence of happiness.

Whatever befalls my pocket this Christmas, I will remain satisfied that the poinsettia, as on previous years, has become a bright red and with the numerous cold fronts we have experienced in our tropical winter, who can truly say that the Christmas breeze was not felt?

Love and Peace to you.

  1. Jamaican term for shopping accompanied by sound systems in major towns on New Years Eve []
  2. Enslaved Jamaican people were only allowed to celebrate Christmas, Jonkunnu and Buru are forms of a masquerade carnival they enjoyed. []
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  1. David
    Posted December 22, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    You have managed to capture the heart and mind of every Jamaican whose heart holds dear the spirit of Christmas. There has been a real change in how this time of year is viewed yet I too am sure the Christmas breeze is being felt (smile).

  2. Posted December 22, 2010 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    It is true that a lot of people are unable to feel comfortable with the simple things in life. We certainly dont need a lot of money, even at this time to feel good.
    I like the piece…a nice easy read

  3. TP
    Posted December 23, 2010 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    beautiful, can’t wait for the next negril story

  4. Posted December 23, 2010 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    i love it… beautiful writing… u r very talented girl… so good to have ur friendship!

  5. Ray
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    Great insighful story …. keep on writing more.

  6. Posted February 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    You have quite the pleasant writing style. I’m envious to be honest.

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